July 28, 2008

Organising business emails

I received an email from a physical product seller who asked me for some ideas to organise her business emails.

Here's the story:
People order products from her. She checks with her vendors if they have stock before she can invoice the customer. She then instructs her vendors to fulfill the orders once the customers pay her. She then needs to keep track of the orders until the vendor confirms delivery to the customer.

This is what I told her:

  1. Make subfolders for New Pending Stock and Pending Payment.
  2. When you email the vendor, flag the email for follow-up (a little earlier than you need to) before you send. Click that little button with the red flag in Outlook.
  3. Drag the customer’s email into New Pending Stock while you wait for a response from the vendor.
  4. When you go into your Sent Items, the email turns red when it is overdue so you can follow-up. Hopefully you won’t have to do this very often.
  5. When you get the response, you can go into New Pending Stock, open the customer’s email and respond with the Paypal link. Delete the original email.
  6. Drag your Sent Item into Pending Payment so you have one place to follow up all pending payments.

I also suggest you get into a routine to process orders. If you're not sure what's the best way to set up your business processes and routines, check out the Organise your Business system.

What is the turnaround time you’ve communicated to clients? I commit to respond within 24 hours so I know I have to check and process emails at least once a day.

I’d suggest thinking out a routine and writing it on a post-it note which you stick to your computer or wall until you can do it in your sleep. If you need a reminder, use Outlook to beep you when you need to follow up with vendors or customers.

Resources that will help you:

post signature

No comments :